Colds are very common viral illnesses that occur year round, but primarily in winter months. Because there are many viruses that cause colds, people may experience multiple colds per year, or find that their symptoms vary with each infection. The flu is also caused by a virus, but is due to a specific virus called influenza virus. The typical symptoms of the flu are high fever, body aches, fatigue, sore throat, headache and/or painful cough.
The main treatment for viral infections is supportive care. Supportive treatment consists of taking medications to treat the symptoms, so that you are more comfortable while you are recuperating from the illness. Additionally, if started within 48 hours, there are some medications that may help fight the infection itself. For colds, we recommend zinc products, such as ColdEeze lozenges, zinc throat sprays, or zinc bubblegum. We do not recommend Zicam nasal gel, as it has been associated with a few cases of permanent loss of smell. For the flu, Tamiflu and Relenza are prescription antiviral medications; Oscillococcinum is a holistic over the counter medication that may help fight the flu. Because antibiotics only work against bacteria, and not viruses, the practitioners at Cowell do not prescribe antibiotics for colds.
Cold and Flu